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WE-G-BRA-06: calibrating an ionisation chamber: gaining experience using a dosimetry 'flight simulator'

Beavis, A; Saunderson, J; Ward, J


A Beavis

J Saunderson

J Ward


Purpose: Recently there has been great interest in the use of simulation training, with the view to enhance safety within radiotherapy practice. We have developed a Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training (VERT) which facilitates this, including the simulation of a number of 'Physics practices'. One such process is the calibration of an ionisation chamber for use in Linac photon beams. Methods: The VERT system was used to provide a life sized 3D virtual environment within which we were able to simulate the calibration of a departmental chamber for 6MV and 15 MV beams following the UK 1990 Code of Practice. The characteristics of the beams are fixed parameters in the simulation, whereas default (Absorbed dose to water) correction factors of the chambers are configurable thereby dictating their response in the virtual x-ray beam. When the simulation is started, a random, realistic temperature and pressure is assigned to the bunker. Measurement and chamber positional errors are assigned to the chambers. A virtual water phantom was placed on the Linac couch and irradiated through the side using a 10 × 10 field. With a chamber at the appropriate depths and irradiated iso-centrically, the Quality Indices (QI) of the beams were obtained. The two chambers were 'inter-compared', allowing the departmental chamber calibration factor to be calculated from that of the reference chamber. Results: For the virtual 6/15 MV beams, the QI were found to be 0.668/ 0.761 and the inter-comparison ratios 0.4408/ 0.4402 respectively. The departmental chamber calibration factors were calculated; applying these and appropriate environmental corrections allowed the output of the Linac to be confirmed. Conclusions: We have shown how a virtual training environment can be used to demonstrate practical processes and reinforce learning. The UK CoP was used here, however any relevant protocol could be demonstrated. Two of the authors (Beavis and Ward) are Founders of Vertual Ltd, a spin-out company created to commercialise the research presented in this abstract.


Beavis, A., Saunderson, J., & Ward, J. (2012). WE-G-BRA-06: calibrating an ionisation chamber: gaining experience using a dosimetry 'flight simulator'. Medical physics, 39(6Part28), 3970-3970.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2012
Online Publication Date Jun 28, 2012
Publication Date 2012-06
Print ISSN 0094-2405
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 6Part28
Pages 3970-3970
Keywords General Medicine
Public URL